American Idol Creator Simon Fuller Sues Fox, Fremantle Over X Factor
Simon Fuller is suing Fox Broadcasting and Fremantle North America, claiming that he wasn't given "executive producer" credit for the upcoming U.S. version of The X Factor as promised, the Los Angeles Times reports.
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According to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Fuller, the creator and executive producer of Fox's American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, negotiated a chunk of change and producer credit on The X Factor when it began in the U.K. in 2004.
At the time, Fuller blasted the show and its creator — Simon Cowell — saying The X Factor was a carbon copy of American Idol. A deal was struck that kept Cowell on Idol through 2010 and The X Factor off U.S. shores until 2011. In return, Fuller yanked American Idol's U.K. counterpart Pop Idol off the air.
"As often happens in Hollywood, however, binding promises made one day for expediency turn out to be cast aside when it comes time to perform," the Times quoted Fuller's suit as saying, adding that Fox and Fremantle have made "hundreds of millions of dollars" because of Fuller's creative efforts.
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Fox and Fremantle said in a statement that Fuller's suit is without merit and that he is seeking "payment and credit as an executive producer despite his neither having been approved by the required parties, nor hired, as such."
Damages have not been specified.
Fuller's suit even takes an apparent dig at the phone-hacking scandal that forced News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch to testify before Britain's Parliament: "Fox, and ultimately its parent company, News Corp., have demonstrated a callous disregard for Fuller's rights which, given recent developments, reflects a corporate culture — if not a pattern and practice — of wrongful behavior."